If you love R.E.M. and weren’t at Carnegie Hall last night, you should probably do a better job at loving R.E.M. The evening was billed as a tribute to the Athenian eye-smilers, which meant career-spanning covers by everyone from Kyp Malone with Jolie Holland, to Elf Power, to Hootie (the Blowfish were initially an R.E.M. cover band, you’ll remember)(no, you won’t). Like the Boss’s similar party in ’07, the guests of honor couldn’t help but make a “surprise” appearance to close the show. This wasn’t a Springsteen-styled superjam, though; after Patti Smith presented her version of “New Test Leper,” she recreated her original backing vocals on a very special “E-Bow The Letter” with Stipe, Mills, and Buck. Looks far away but sounds OK:

Pretty special. Probably the most special “E-Bow” since Thom played the part of Patti back in ’98:

Also according to Young Manhattanite, Jeff Mangum made the Athens/NYC-heavy afterparty at City Winery. Here’s the photo that proves little (Jeff’s is the main obstructing head):

YM has some scoop from the afterparty, and here’s last night’s setlist (via Billboard):

01 “Fall On Me” (the dB’s)
02 “The Apologist” (Fink)
03 “Man on the Moon” (Keren Ann with Calexico)
04 “Wendell Gee” (Calexico)
05 “The Great Beyond” (Rachael Yamagata with Calexico)
06 “Sitting Still” (Bob Mould with Calexico)
07 “Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)” (The Feelies)
08 “Nightswimming” (Ingrid Michaelson)
09 “Hairshirt” (Glen Hansard)*
10 “South Central Rain” (Apples in Stereo)
11 “Shaking Through” (Guster)
12 “Supernatural Superserious” (Marshall Crenshaw with Calexico)
13 “Driver 8″ (Rhett Miller with Calexico)
14 “World Leader Pretend” (Kimya Dawson)
15 “Everybody Hurts” (Vic Chesnutt with Elf Power)
16 “Perfect Circles” (Kristin Hersh and the Throwing Muses)
17 “At My Most Beautiful” (Dar Williams)
18 “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” (Jolie Holland with Calexico)
19 “I Believe” (Darius Rucker with Calexico)
20 “New Test Leper” (Patti Smith)
21 “E-Bow The Letter” (R.E.M. w/ Patti Smith)

* UPDATE: Glen performed “Hairshirt” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 3/12.

Comments (5)
  1. bill  |   Posted on Mar 12th, 2009 0

    Patti Smith’s performed E-Bow with the band quite a few times over the past few years… on a ’98 MTV Special, on tour, etc. Still awesome though.

  2. Jay  |   Posted on Mar 13th, 2009 0

    I really want a copy of this…is this available anywhere?

  3. I really want to hear Bob Mould with Calexico. Two great tastes that taste great together?

  4. What a great show and all for a meaningful cause. If I had to choose my favorite of the night, it would be an impossible task. Bob Mould blew the doors off their hinges. There certainly was a plethora of talent on stage that night. Impressive. Rhett Miller was excellent too.”Nightswimming” by Ingrid Michaelson was also well done. It was interesting that most of the most expensive seats on the floor, where not filled. Sign of the times, no doubt.

  5. Who’s the drummer up there with Buck and Mills? Anyone know?

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